Round 3 (81): Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest
After going all-offense with the opening four picks, Green Bay finally gets some help on defense with Wake Forest cornerback Caelen Carson.
Trading Rasul Douglas makes cornerback a greater offseason need. Eric Stokes has battled injuries over the past year. Jaire Alexander has been in and out of the lineup in 2023 due to back and shoulder injuries.
Seventh-round rookie Carrington Valentine has made an impressive start to his career with three pass defenses this season. But the Packers will need to add more depth at the position in the offseason.
Carson is 6-foot, 195 pounds, with good physicality. He regularly gets his hands to the football, having made at least seven pass defenses in the past three seasons, including eight this year. Carson has starting potential in the NFL. In year one, he would provide much-needed depth in the secondary.
If the Packers are fully healthy, they could enter 2024 with a starting trio of Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Carrington Valentine. It also depends on whether they re-sign slot corner Keisean Nixon. But drafting Carson would give them another talented, young cornerback with starting potential to develop.
This mock goes against the way Green Bay usually drafts. The team doesn't often wait until its fifth selection to add a defensive player. But considering how the offense has played this season, adding reinforcements in the early rounds is important.